The state of Florida has so much to offer its visitors year round. With its ‘sun kissed’ weather, tropical breezes, and warm sandy beaches it provides the ideal setting for a family vacation, a solo retreat, or a romantic getaway. If you prefer a quieter less populated location for your visit, read our guide to learn about a few vacation spots which are Florida’s best kept secrets.
This is a tropical paradise which can only be accessed by boat, seaplane, helicopter or water taxi. Cabbage key is located 20 miles northwest of Ft Myers across from mile marker 60 on the Intracoastal Waterway. This magnificent little island is not only one of the most secluded places to visit it is also one of the most self-reliant little islands in Florida. If you plan on visiting Cabbage Key you should know that relaxing is the number one priority at this retreat. Be prepared to enjoy nature, go fishing, or bask in the sun. There are no cars or paved roads at this little island escape, there isn’t even a general store so you will have to bring everything you will need with you. The main house on the island is the Cabbage Key Inn and Restaurant. Other accommodations include the Historic Inn, Dollhouse Cottage, Rinehart Cottage, Cabbage Patch, Tarpon Cottage, Brown House, Snook Cottage and the Harbor View Cottage. Cabbage Key offers a unique vacation experience for those guests looking for a tranquil and remote non-commercial getaway.
Ana Maria Island
Here is a charming Florida Gulf Coast destination located on a barrier island just 40 miles south of Tampa. It is the perfect escape to bask in the warm sun on powder white beaches by the aquamarine waters of the Gulf. This sleepy island destination has a laid back atmosphere which is conducive to relaxing and just ‘chilling out’. Guests of this island love the seven and a half spectacular miles of white sandy beaches where they can swim, surf, play, and watch the magnificent sunsets as the sun retires each evening over the bay. Typically uncrowded, the island’s small roads are adorned with lush tropical foliage giving way to its island paradise ambience. For those visitors looking for a bit of adventure, you can always find a fishing boat to charter or stroll on Ana Maria’s Island’s three piers which offer some of the best fishing off the coast. Guests can also rent bicycles to explore the island at their leisure. Close enough to the attractions of Tampa, visitors can spend a fun day off the island and still be back in time for a gourmet seafood dinner. Some popular accommodations on this secluded island paradise are the Anna Maria Island Inn, Island Garden Villas, and Anna Maria Beach cottages.
Big Pine Key
This intimate little island is nestled between Key West and Marathon Key. If you are looking for a quite secluded getaway that is affordable, Big Pine key has what you are looking for. The laid back lifestyle and attitude of this charming island beckons its guests to relax. Far less crowded, as well as less commercial it is known for its natural surroundings including the only freshwater lake found in the Florida Keys and the National Key Deer Refuge. Guests on this unobtrusive Florida Key can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, bicycling, kayaking, diving, charter boat fishing, or exploring the Bahia Honda State Park. The accommodations offered here are limited yet, just as quaint as the key itself. The Deer Run Bed and Breakfast offers a tranquil atmosphere with wooded property to explore and observe the miniature Key deer close up. Big Pine Key Motel is a modest and affordable lodging consisting of 32 rooms, either efficiencies or apartments. Its sparkling swimming pool is just the place to relax after exploring the key or after returning from a fishing adventure. Quiet and simple island living is the lifestyle at this nature refuge. Guests will surely find the tranquility they are seeking when arriving on this small inviting island.